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tobys-brain

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Artist // Professional // Varied
Badges
Super Albino: Llamas are awesome! (153)
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My Bio
From my website (because I'm feeling too lazy to write something new): Born in 1977 (after his overdue mother went to see the circus) and raised in Raynham, MA, Toby Gray is a stay-at-home father of 3 boys, a husband, an artist, a practitioner of Shotokan Karate (since 1995), an exercise geek, a Ninja Warrior, an Eagle Scout, a lover of hiking and camping and kayaking, a snowboarder, a wood-working enthusiast, a comic book fan, an introvert, at one time a pure-bred cat breeder, and a dreamer. He has been wearing shorts year-round (in MA and NH, not some Nancy warm locale) since 1991 (with a handful of exceptions, like brief job requirements and snowboarding) all because of a bet gone awry. He also really likes monkeys and squids.

You can help support Toby and his brain by visiting his Etsy store, www.etsy.com/shop/PlungerMonke… and decorating your torso with the stuff from his brain!

Favourite Visual Artist
Aaron Blaise, Miyazaki, Terryl Whitlatch, Dave Dorman, Ryan Lang, Bill Watterson
Favourite Movies
Star Wars (all of them), Enter the Dragon, Drunken Master
Favourite TV Shows
Avatar the Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Sasuke, American Ninja Warrior, Robotech
Favourite Bands / Musical Artists
Metallica, Megadeth, Glory Hammer, Judas Priest, Tyr, Dio, Pantera, Dream Evil
Favourite Books
The Lord of the Rings, Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind, Akira, The Hyperion and Endymion books, the Thomas Covenant series
Favourite Writers
Tolkien, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Raymond Feist, Dan Simmons, Stephen Donaldson
Favourite Games
Dynasty Warriors franchise, Diablo II, Diablo III, almost anything Star Wars, Disney Infinite
Favourite Gaming Platform
PS4
Tools of the Trade
pencil, pen/ink, acrylic, wood, clay, Photoshop
Other Interests
martial arts, exercise, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, camping, Ninja Warrior-ing
It's been a while since I've posted something. There's been too much "life" getting in the way of art lately. I'm hoping I'm back on track this week, it would be nice to have some consistency and to develop an actual following for my art...
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I'm @tobys-brain, and I'm a #NewDeviant. Here's my #introduction: I'm an artist at the tale end of my 30s, finally trying to get myself "out there" and pursue my dreams, all while being a stay-at-home dad. I put my art ambitions on the back burner fo...
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Wow your art style is astounding, Sir!

Love the comics.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it when people enjoy my work and take the time to let me know. Making and posting art can often times feel like shouting into a void, never knowing if anyone can even hear you.

So that's crazy...I just started 30-minute sketches based on word-of-the-day prompts a few weeks ago. It quickly turned into comics featuring my OC monkey name Saru. Your comics are very inspiring. I'd love any tips you might be able to provide. Keep up the amazing work!

Thanks! I truly appreciate the kind words. I don't know that I'm in any position to be giving tips or advice to anyone, but my default advice would simply be to keep drawing. I stopped drawing for about 2 years after college due to depression and being directionless. I started figuring things out, then I became a stay-at-home dad and didn't get in the studio for about 10 years. I regret the lost time developing my skills and building a career, but I think those years allowed my brain to let go of some of the creative blocks I had (I still have tons of other self-imposed roadblocks). Now, I have more ideas and projects I want to work on than I can probably get to in this lifetime. Since getting back in the studio 7 or 8 years ago, the thing that has helped me build and keep momentum is having something to focus on, even if it's not a big project. Those drawing prompt things (like Inktober) are great for that. If nothing else, do that every day and not only will skills improve whether you're thinking about it or not, but you start to feel good as that pile of art starts growing, which compels you to make even more. I'd also suggest drawing from life a lot. Observe the world around you constantly, the way light hits objects, the way things look when they are far away or up close, the different textures of things, shapes, volumes, etc. The last advice I think I'd give is the one that has really kicked things up a notch for me: start logging your drawing hours if you don't already. I use One Note on my phone for just about everything, so I keep a studio log. I write the date, the time I start working, the time I stop, and what I worked on. I then total the hours up at the end of the day, and recently at the end of each week. I'm now competing with myself to spend more time working, and identifying better where I waste my time.


So those would be my suggestions! Thanks again for the kind words and good luck!

Thank you so much for the response and advice! I've been meaning to respond but wanted to make sure I didn't rush. I went through a similar lull for several years. About 10 years ago, I was at a point were I could have really grown but I didn't have the maturity to invest the time and energy in developing my craft. I worked on a few projects during that time but nothing significant. It wasn't until a few months ago that my really regained my focus and drive. I've already noticed more development over the last couple months than I had over the last 10 years. Most of my free time now is spent drawing, so logging that time is a really good idea. I'll have to give that a shot. My comics have been a lot of fun and give me a break in between my more involved pieces. Currently, I'm working to refine the art style as well as develop a story that will carry throughout. But I need to make sure I dedicate time to learn anatomy and other skills to increase the quality of my art. I used to avoid drawing people because I was so terrible at it, but character design was always something I wanted to do. Unfortunately, drawing people is kind of a big part of that, lol.


Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Hearing your story is very inspiring. I really appreciate the advice and am really excited to continue learning and developing further.

Best of luck! I find consistency is a big deal. It builds on itself.